INVENTORY OF THE LIBERTY FARMS COMPANY ARCHIVES, 1916-1970

Department of Special Collections
General Library
University of California, Davis
100 North West Quad
Davis, CA 95616-5292
Phone: (530) 752-1621
Fax: (530) 754-5758
Email: speccoll@lib.ucdavis.edu
2004 ©2004
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Note


INVENTORY OF THE LIBERTY FARMS COMPANY ARCHIVES, 1916-1970

D-044

Department of Special Collections

General Library

University of California, Davis

Davis, California

Contact Information

  • Department of Special Collections
  • General Library
  • 100 North West Quad
  • University of California, Davis
  • Davis, CA 95616-5292
  • Phone: (530) 752-1621
  • Fax: (530) 754-5758
  • Email: speccoll@lib.ucdavis.edu
Processed by: John Skarstad. Encoded by: Sara Gunasekara with assistance from student employee Jenny Hodge.
Completed: 2004
©2004 The Regents of the University of California

Descriptive Summary

Title: Liberty Farms Company Archives,
Date (inclusive): 1916-1970
Collection number: D-044
Creator: Liberty Farms Company
Extent: 1.2 linear feet
Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
100 North West Quad
Davis, California, 95616-5292
Abstract: The Liberty Farms Company, founded in 1919, reclaimed 5,000 acres of swamp and overflow land in the Sacramento Delta. The property, located eight miles north of Rio Vista and named Liberty Island by Robert K. Malcolm, was farmed by tenants on a share basis. They produced potatoes, asparagus, zucchini, onions, peas, tomatoes, and other row crops. Liberty Farms Company was sold to the Moresco Brothers Farming Company in 1973. The archives, which span the years 1916-1970, contain legal documents, minutes, correspondence, clippings, photographs, and maps.
Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17 of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Liberty Farms Company Archives, D-044, Department of Special Collections, University of California Library, Davis, California.

Acquisition Information

The archives of Liberty Farms Company were donated by Esther Malcolm, the last Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Company. The correspondence, maps, and legal documents were given in 1978; the minutes and incorporation documents were given in 1982.

Processing Information

Arranged and described by John Skarstad in May 1984. EAD finding aid created by Sara Gunasekara with assistance from student employee Jenny Hodge in August 2004.

Administrative History

History

Liberty Island lies eight miles north of Rio Vista, in California's delta region. According to Robert K. Malcolm, who reclaimed and developed it, the island received its name after a levee was built on the northern boundary. "When this was done, the property was completely surrounded by water and as this was during World War I when we were fighting for liberty, I named the property Liberty Island."
On November 17, 1917, Malcolm, George E. Bryan, Thomas A. Keogh, George B. Montagne, and J. H. Rosseter formed Liberty Farm Company and merged their Liberty Island properties. The company was organized to construct levees and drain the land for farming. In February 1919, Liberty Farm Company sold its assets and liabilities to Liberty Farms Company, a second corporation headed by Robert K. Malcolm.
The company expanded to own five thousand acres of highly cultivated land largely farmed by tenants on a share basis. In addition, Liberty Farms Company maintained a labor camp for one hundred permanent residents and accomodations for up to a thousand seasonal laborers. The rich soil of the island produced abundant crops. First potatoes, then other commerical crops from asparagus to zucchini were planted, sprayed, harvested, packed, and shipped by Liberty Farms during its fifty-four year history. In order to support its large scale farming operations, Liberty Farms Company built or acquired a station on the Sacramento Northern Railway, a secondary road to the property, a post office, and a school house for the children of its employees.
From 1918 to 1973, Liberty Island flooded twenty-seven times. High yields from the richer land in the Yolo Bypass helped defray flood repair and maintenance costs. The discovery of natural gas on the property in 1955 and the gas depletion allowance also helped cover rising flood related expenses, but in 1965, after four consecutive flood years, the decision was made to sell because of low profits. The Moresco Brothers Farming Company bought the company property on November 1, 1973, and the Liberty Farms Company liquidated and distributed its remaining assets to the shareholders the following year.
Source: The Story of Liberty Island: Robert K. Malcolm, Founder. Interviewed and edited by Avrom I. Dickman. Davis: Shields Library, Oral History Center, University of California, Davis, 1981

Scope and Content of Collection

Organized into six series: 1. Legal Documents, 2. Minutes, 3. Correspondence, 4. Clippings, 5. Photographs, and 6. Maps.

Related Material

Oral History
The Story of Liberty Island: Robert K. Malcolm, founder. Interviewed and edited by Avrom I. Dickman. Davis: Shields Library, Oral History Center, University of California, Davis, 1981.
Manuscript Collections
D-118: Holland Land Company Archives
D-196: Reclamation District No. 551 Archives

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Liberty Farms Company
Malcolm, Robert K.
Agriculture--California--Solano County--Liberty Island
Flood control--California--Yolo Bypass
Floods--California--Sacramento River
Reclamation of land--California--Solano County
Liberty Island (Calif.)--History


Collection Contents

 

Series 1 Legal Documents, 1916-1961

Physical Description:

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Scope and Content Note

Agreements, applications, authorizations, contracts, deeds, indentures, questionnaires, quitclaims, and survey reports relating to the business affairs of Liberty Farms Company. The majority of these documents were written before 1926, with a second group focused on 1935.
Arranged chronologically.
Box 1:1

Inventory of Documents, February 2, 1961

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Box 1:2

Quitclaim of "Netherlands" Land, August 11, 1916

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Box 1:3

Johnson-Shannon Lands sale agreement, January 25, 1918

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Box 1:4

Quitclaim of Hall Land, March 12, 1918

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Box 1:5

Survey Report, June 10, 1918

Physical Description:

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Box 1:6

Holland Land Company sale agreement, June 18, 1918

Physical Description:

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Box 1:7

Transfer of Holland Land Company mortgage, June 19, 1918

Physical Description:

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Box 1:8

Transfer of Holland Land Company mortgage, June 20, 1918

Physical Description:

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Box 1:9

Holland Land Company and R. H. Cross right-of-way agreement, August 30, 1918

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Box 1:10

Contract for reclamation, December 1, 1918

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Box 1:11

Deed from R. K. Malcolm and J. H. Rosseter, January 29, 1919

Physical Description:

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Box 1:12

Sale of Liberty Farm Company to Liberty Farms Company, February 17, 1919

Physical Description:

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Box 1:13

Sale of Liberty Farm Company land to Liberty Farms Company, February 25, 1919

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Box 1:14

Deed from Shannon Farms, March 3, 1919

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Box 1:15

Sale of Johnson Farm, March 4, 1919

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Box 1:16

Deed from R. K. and E. V. Malcolm, and J. H. and A. M. Rosseter, March 7, 1919

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Box 1:17

Deed from Olivia H. Barnard to Samuel Shannon, May, 29, 1919

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Box 1:18

Deed from Samuel and Charlotte E. Shannon, June 3, 1919

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Box 1:19

Copy of Order passed by the Reclamation Board on July 22, 1919, ca. August 4, 1919

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Box 1:20

Agreement between Kay McKay and Liberty Farms Co. concerning levee construction, January 17, 1920

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Box 1:21

Reclamation Agreement, March 3, 1920

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Box 1:22

Indenture allowing S. Sweet Company to use drainage ditch, March 3, 1920

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Box 1:23

Survey Report, March 20, 1920

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Box 1:24

Reclamation Board Questionaire No. 2 and letters, July 3, 1920

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Box 1:25

Reclamation Board Questionaire No. 3, June 30, 1921

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Box 1:26

Deed from J. H. and Margaret S. Batcher, and C. W. and Emma E. Jones, April 29, 1922

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Box 1:27

Deed of Trust, June 12, 1922

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Box 1:28

Reclamation Board Questionaire No. 4, June 30, 1922

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Box 1:29

Reclamation Board Questionaire No. 5, June 1, 1923

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Box 1:30

Reclamation Board Questionaire No. 6, December 31, 1923

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Box 1:31

Copy of Answer to Suit plaintiff Arnold Reinhold, January 25, 1924

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Box 1:32

Reclamation Board Questionaire No. 7, December 31, 1924

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Box 1:33

Reclamation Board Questionaire No. 8, January 1, 1926

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Box 1:34

Authorization by Kate R. Whitham of R. K. Malcolm to act as proxy, May 27, 1935

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Box 1:35

Agreement between Liberty Farms Compnay, et al, and Rio Farms, June 3, 1935

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Box 1:36

Option between Liberty Farms Company, et al, Rio Farms, and Sacramento and San Joaquin Drainage District, June 5, 1935

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Box 1:37

Resolution by the Reclamation Board to purchase flowage rights, June 5, 1935

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Box 1:38

Consent to division of money paid by Sacramento and San Joaquin Drainage District, June 5, 1935

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Box 1:39

Release agreement between Liberty Farms Company, et al, and Rio Farms, and Holland Land Company, June 21, 1935

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Box 1:40

Consent to payment portions, June 21, 1935

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Box 1:41

Judgement and Decree No. 7802, June 22, 1935

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Box 1:42

Consent to levees arrangement by Scott F. Ennis and George H. Casey, June 24, 1935

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Box 1:43

Agreement between Liberty Farms Company and Rio Farms, August 19, 1936

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Box 1:44

Consent to extend provisions of agreement dated August 19, 1936, August 30, 1936

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Box 1:45

Consent for George H. Casey that money be paid to Kate R. Whitham, September 23, 1938

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Box 1:46

Agreement to form "Liberty Reclamation No. 1," December 28, 1945

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Box 1:47

Agreement between Sacramento-Yolo Port District and Liberty Farms Company, et al., February 29, 1960

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Series 2 Minutes, 1917-1974

Physical Description:

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Scope and Content Note

Minutes of the Boards of Directors and Shareholders Meetings.
Arranged chronologically.
Box 1:48

By-Laws of Liberty Farm Company, November 20, 1917

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Box 1:49

Minutes, November 20, 1917-April 18, 1918

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Box 1:50

Minutes, May 1, 1918-October 7, 1918

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Box 1:51

Minutes, November 7, 1918-February 24, 1919

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Box 1:52

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 8,1919-February 25, 1919

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Box 1:53

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, April 1, 1919-March 29, 1923

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Box 1:54

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, April 2, 1923-February 12, 1924

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Box 1:55

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, April 22, 1924-February 17, 1931

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Box 1:56

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, July 27, 1931-January 30, 1936

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Box 1:57

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 11, 1936-October 14, 1938

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Box 1:58

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 14, 1939-July 16, 1942

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Box 1:59

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 9, 1943-January 29, 1946

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Box 1:60

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 13, 1946-January 30, 1947

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Box 1:61

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 11, 1947-January 15, 1948

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Box 1:62

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 10, 1948-December 8, 1949

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Box 1:63

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 21, 1950-December 7, 1950

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Box 1:64

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 20, 1951-December 13, 1951

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Box 1:65

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 19, 1952-December 11, 1952

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Box 1:66

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 17, 1953-December 10,1953

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Box 1:67

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 16, 1954-December 9, 1954

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Box 1:68

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 15, 1955-December 8, 1955

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Box 1:69

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 21, 1956-January 24, 1958

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Box 1:70

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 18, 1958-December 11, 1958

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Box 1:71

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, February 17, 1959-December 14, 1961

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Box 1:72

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, March 8, 1962-January 7, 1965

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Box 1:73

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, March 11, 1965-December 9, 1965

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Box 1:74

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, March 31, 1966-December 14, 1967

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Box 1:75

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, March 14, 1968- March 13, 1969

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Box D Folio 1

Corporation License, January 21, 1919

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Box 1:76

By-Laws of Liberty Farms Company, February 8, 1919

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Box 1:77

By-Laws of Liberty Farms Company, February 11, 1947

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Box 1:78

Articles of Incorporation, February 26, 1947

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Box 1:79

Certificate of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation, December 11, 1958

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Box 1:80

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, August 14, 1969-December 10, 1970

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Box 1:81

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, March 11, 1971-March 8, 1973

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Box 1:82

Minutes of Liberty Farms Company, March 3, 1973-February 21, 1974

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Series 3 Correspondence, 1951

Physical Description:

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Scope and Content Note

Letters and other materials relating to the activities of Liberty Farms Company.
Arranged chronologically.
Box 1:83

Correspondence, April 16, 1951-September 8, 1951

Physical Description:

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Series 4 Clippings, 1956-1973

Physical Description:

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Scope and Content Note

Newspaper accounts generally relating to the flooding of Liberty Island. Other accounts describe the sale of Liberty Farms Company.
Arranged chronologically.
Box 1:84

Clippings, 1956-1973

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Series 5 Photographs, 1938-1970

Physical Description:

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Scope and Content Note

Photographs taken by Eddie Dutra showing the flooding of Liberty Island.
Arranged chronologically.
Box 1:85

Photographs, 1938-1970

Physical Description:

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Series 6 Maps, 1918-1960

Physical Description:

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Scope and Content Note

Maps showing flood control projects, soil types, reclamation plans, and the school district.
Arranged chronologically.
Map Case V Drawer R

Sacramento Flood Control Project, October 1948

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Map Case V Drawer R

Liberty (Rio Vista Division) School District, ca 1949

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Map Case V Drawer R

Liberty Reclamation District, Soil Classification, May 1950

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Map Case V Drawer R

Liberty Reclamation District, Parcel Notes, May 1950

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Map Case V Drawer R

Liberty Reclamation District, December 1954

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Map Case V Drawer R

Liberty Island Reclamation District No. 2093, May 30, 1960

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